Alvvays Blue Rev (Polyvinyl Records)

On October 7th 2022, Toronto Canada based Alvvays released their third studio album Blue Rev. It’s named after Rev, which is a popular Canadian alcoholic beverage. 


After 2017’s Antisocialites, Alvvays began writing on their third album. The release of the album was delayed due to a series of events such as losing a recorder full of demos to a break in, a flood destroying most of their musical equipment, and of course the COVID pandemic in 2020 which caused logistic problems to rehearsing.


The five-piece band is made up of Molly Rankin – vocals, rhythm guitar, bass guitar, Kerri MacLellan – keyboards, backing vocals, Alec O’Hanley – lead guitar, Sheridan Riley – drums, backing vocals, and Abbey Blackwell – bass.


From the opening track on Blue Rev, the album is filled with soaring, ripping, passionate, dream pop melodies that wash over you. From the frantic guitar on the Pharmacist to the lushy Easy on Your Own? where Rankin seems to question what or to whom she has given her time and effort only for it to be wasted or unfulfilled––Rankin’s lyrics are truthful and honest.


Other standout tracks on Blue Rev are Belinda SaysBored in Bristol and Tile by Tile. The overall album production is on point and creates a space for Rankin’s vocals to both breath and shine brilliantly. The one minor piece of feedback to note was that there were spots on the album where Rankin’s vocals felt low in the mix but given the general feel of the tracks this was likely on purpose.


Blue Rev finds its own path here and feels like an upgrade from 2017’s Antisocialites. In my eyes they have carved out a spot for themselves on 2022’s best-of field.  


“Hey Bartender, I’ll have another Blue Rev!”


Contributor: Andrew Ross

Coming soon to soundwaves: ‘Spin This with Andrew Ross


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